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US Heritage Foundation Claims Georgia’s NATO Membership is in America’s Interests

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 1
(WASHINGTON)--The Heritage Foundation, a conservative American research and educational institution and a think tank, claims that “it is America’s national interest to deepen the bilateral relationship with Georgia, help Georgians improve their military capabilities, and keep Georgia on the path to NATO membership.”

The author of the report Luke Coffey stated that 2018 is an important year for the U.S.–NATO–Georgian relationship, not only because it marks the 10th anniversary of Russia’s military aggression against Georgia, but also because it marks the 10th anniversary of NATO’s promise to Georgia of eventual membership in the Alliance during the Bucharest Summit.

Coffey believes that in order to deepen the US–Georgian relations, the US must continue to be an advocate for Georgia’s eventual membership in NATO, to strengthen the bilateral military relationship with an energized focus on territorial defense, bolster US presence in the Black Sea, and to pressure Russia to end its illegal occupation of Georgian territory and to abide by the 2008 Six Point Ceasefire Agreement.

Coffey stressed Georgia’s role in international peace missions and stated that Georgia is a staunch US ally and has sacrificed greatly in Afghanistan.

“Since it regained independence in 1991 after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Georgia has been a beacon of hope in an otherwise turbulent region. It has seen successive peaceful transfers of power in open and free elections. It has embraced economic reforms to liberalize its economy. It has sought a deeper relationship with transatlantic organizations”, the author said.

Coffey said that Georgia is a proven and dependable U.S. ally in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and the country’s location makes it important for U.S. geopolitical objectives in the Eurasian region.

“Also Georgia’s journey to democracy is an example for the region,” the foundation report reads.

The author of the report believes that Georgians have proven themselves as reliable US allies and gallant in combat and that they are undertaking a defense transformation program and investing in their military in a way far exceeding NATO’s standards.